money.jpgA $3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is being given to the San Francisco USD and City College of SF today, with the understanding that it will go to programs designed to prepare students for college.

The money will be used for programs like expanding access to preschool, allowing more students to earn college credit at work, and increasing the number of students who take college prep classes. The ultimate goal, officials say, is to boost the number of SF high school grads attending college full time from the 36 percent we have now to 65 percent in 2020.

The money will be disbursed in $1 million increments over the next 3 years.

In a statement, a Gates Foundation spokesperson said “(w)e must not only ensure that young people have access to college, we must ensure that they go on to complete college and earn a degree or certificate with value in the workplace.”

No word yet on how those students will pay for college (student loans, perhaps?) given the skyrocketing tuition at our public universities. An email to the Gates foundation asking if they have any innovative ideas for that minor sticking point was not returned at publication time. (Not everyone has the skillset, for example, dancing in heels, to strip their way through undergrad.)

But if the Gates foundation is looking for student loan debt burdened adults with degrees or certificates* with ABSOLUTELY NO value in the workplace to assist, sign me the hell up.

Update: Kent Fischer, a VP at gmmb, a PR agency presumably employed by the Gates Foundation, sends us this response their behalf:

There’s lots of info on the Foundation’s website about its efforts to help solve the finance riddle – indeed those efforts are a key part of the foundation’s postsecondary success strategy:

So there you go! Problem solved!

*actually I don’t have a degree, even! But I did complete a major, does that count?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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